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Whether taking a road trip or hopping on a train, the journey from London to Cotswolds is undoubtedly worth it. Simply thinking about the beautiful Cotswolds of England conjures up images of quaint villages lined with honey-coloured cottages and rustic scenery.
It’s easily one of the country’s most picturesque and charming rural settings in south-central England.
The area comprises a congregation of traditional villages and towns built on rolling hills in the quiet countryside.
If you’re visiting the Cotswolds from London, you’re in luck. You can reach the destination in a number of ways, whether you’re planning on using the train, bus or renting a car.
There are many activities in the Cotswolds, so be sure to plan accordingly.
Here is everything you need to know about travelling from London to Cotswolds.
How Far Are The Cotswolds From London
Let’s start with the first question you’re probably asking yourself – how far is the Cotswolds from London? The start of the area is about 100 miles outside of the capital, which makes for a beautiful Cotswolds day trip from London.
The total area spans nearly 800 square miles. It runs through five counties: Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire, and Worcestershire.
Considering the distance isn’t that far, you could plan a day trip from London. But seeing as there is so much to do there, you’ll probably want to spend at least a couple of days exploring the highlights and hidden gems.
How To Get To The Cotswolds From London
Now that we’ve covered the distance let’s get into how to get to the Cotswolds from London.
Whether renting a car and driving yourself or using public transportation, your journey should be relatively straightforward.
Here are the best ways to get from London to the Cotswolds.
Travelling to the Cotswolds from London by train guarantees a smooth and comfortable trip. You’ll be using the British railways, which are among the best in Europe.
Trains to the Cotswolds from London run daily and depart from London’s Paddington Station to Cotswolds.
Train stations in the Cotswolds are Cam & Dursley, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Kemble, Moreton-in-Marsh, Stonehouse, Stroud, and Ashchurch. You can check the tickets and timetables here.
Depending on the train station you select, you can expect the train from London to Cotswolds to be between one to two hours. Wi-Fi and power plugs are available on some trains.
London to Cotswolds by Car
Driving to the Cotswold from London is your best bet for the most freedom and flexibility. The distance from London to Burford (the gateway town into the Cotswolds) is about 75 miles and takes between one and a half to two hours, depending on traffic. The M4, M5, and M40 motorways serve the London to Cotswolds drive route.
If you plan to explore different towns and villages in the Cotswolds, having a car is handy. And, if you want to explore other English cities along the way, you’ll be able to do so easily.
You can even plan a day trip to Oxford. The route from London to Burford passes directly through this historic college town.
London to Cotswolds by Bus
Travelling from London to the Cotswolds by bus is another option. The National Express coach line is one of the most popular bus services.
You’ll depart from the Victoria Coach Station in London. The main bus stops in the Cotswolds are Cheltenham, Gloucester and Stroud.
The London to Cotswolds bus takes about 2.5 to 3.5 hours. Although this is longer than taking the train or car, bus tickets are usually more affordable. If you’re trying to save money, this is a great option.
The roads are very scenic, and the coaches are air-conditioned and comfortable for a great journey.
Free Wi-Fi is available on all National Express coaches, and USB plug points are also available.
The Best Bus Tours for a Cotswolds Trip
A guided bus tour is the most convenient way to explore the Cotswolds. Let the professionals take care of the planning for you, so you can sit back, relax, and soak in the scenery of the English countryside.
Here are the best tour options for a day trip to the Cotswolds from London.
Full-Day Tour of the Cotswolds
On this full-day Cotswold tour, you’ll discover the very best of four idyllic villages. Travel from London to the Cotswold on an air-conditioned minibus. Take in the beauty of the scenery as you traverse the quiet country lanes.
Visit the charming towns of Burford, Stow-on-the-Wold, Bibury, and Bampton. You’ll have free time to explore each location and stop for a traditional British pub lunch.
With the aid of your knowledgeable local guide, you’ll learn about the history of each destination you visit.
Oxford, Stratford, and Cotswolds | Day Trip from London
On this day trip from London, you’ll visit three historic areas of England. Start your tour with a visit to Stratford-upon-Avon – the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Spend a few hours exploring the town centre and sites connected with Shakespeare.
Continue on to the Cotswolds and admire the English countryside at its finest. Next up,
you’ll visit Oxford. Learn about the city’s ties with Alice in Wonderland and Harry Potter, and walk among the historic college buildings.
Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey Village & the Cotswolds
For those wanting to cram a couple of extra activities into their day, this tour from London is just the ticket.
Start by touring Blenheim Palace – the birthplace of Winston Churchill. Then, carry onto the Cotswolds.
Visit Bourton-on-the-Water, a town commonly referred to as the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’ due to its many bridges and waterways.
Lastly, you’ll get to explore the village of Bampton and see sites featured in the Downton Abbey TV series.
Travelling to the Cotswolds is easy and will complement any trip to London. These postcard-perfect towns and villages can be reached in several ways.
If you plan to spend a few days in the Cotswolds, renting a car is a great way to explore the area at your own pace.
If you want to fully enjoy all the beauty of the English countryside and save a bit of money, the bus is the way to go. The train or a guided tour are solid options if you’re short on time. Whichever you choose, you won’t regret the trip.